House Approves Benninghoff Bill Giving Adoptees Right to Original Birth Certificate
HARRISBURG – Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) announced that his legislation to reinstate adult adoptees’ rights to access their original birth certificate gained support today in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

“I thank my colleagues for their support,” Benninghoff said. “Together, we can once and for all remove this legal barrier and restore adoptees rightful access to their own personal information.”

Under current Pennsylvania law, adoptees may petition the courts for a copy of their original birth records; however, that request may be denied by a judge. Benninghoff’s legislation, House Bill 162, would reinstate the right of adult adoptees to apply for and receive a copy of their original birth certificate.

Benninghoff added protection for the birth parent and amended the bill to allow birth parents to redact their names during a six-month window following the law’s effective date. Birth parents who choose not to redact their names can submit a contact preference form to indicate whether or not they wish to be contacted.

Under the legislation, birth parents who choose to redact their names and birth parents who choose to submit contact preference forms, even those who choose “no contact” as their preference, would be required to provide medical history information to be kept on file for the adoptee.

“This is about fairness and the fundamental right of Pennsylvania adoptees to have access to the one legal document that legitimizes their existence here on this earth,” Benninghoff said.

The legislation can now be considered by the Senate.

Representative Kerry Benninghoff
171st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Morgan Wagner
717.260.6281 /
Share |